...but the wizard did not forget.
January 2, 2019 9:56 AM   Subscribe

Dismissed as creepy pasta trolling for years, a half-remembered cartoon about a menacing kidnapper who came to be known as the Clockman was finally discovered to be About Dressy Sally or O páradivé Sally in its original Czech. The mystery took five years to solve, beginning with the original post in 2012. This great video exhaustively recounts the investigation that turned internet myth into established fact and sheds some light on the in and outs of children's animation production and dissemination in the last half of the century.
posted by es_de_bah (11 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I personally love seeing a story about top-notch, academia-level media research where all the players are referred to by their silly internet names.
posted by es_de_bah at 9:58 AM on January 2 [11 favorites]

Ah man I thought you were going to tell us the Skin Taker was real
posted by thelonius at 10:12 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]

Ah, I see that you too finally clicked and watched that video that was suggested for a month straight on Youtube and wanted to get it off the recommended videos list. I swear I just did this like an hour ago lol. Worth it - yay internet detectives!
posted by littlesq at 10:26 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]

Yessss I watched this over the weekend...also based on YouTube's recommendation. I am glad this sort of media archeology still occurs given the Internet seems to now exist as an archive of literally everything.

Although I also admit to not being able to find much on Pinwheel, which is a show I specifically recall adoring as a child.
posted by Young Kullervo at 10:31 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]

Funny what people find creepy. I found it quite charming.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:36 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]

I looove bizarre/uncanny-valley children's media from the 70s-80s. This is fantastic.

Personally I do find the magician a bit unsettling, with the beady eyes and weird proportions, and the part where he creeps up the stairs and then suddenly bursts through the clockface/window(?) is pretty scary imo, especially because it reminds me of that 'I'm coming up the stairs' story that seemed to be in every 'spooky tales' anthology published in the 90s. Maybe it depends on your particular wiring. At any rate, the story of how they tracked this down is fascinating.

[SPOILER ALERT] Uh did the bit about the girl's mother having had a similar experience with the wizard as a child strike anyone else as a bit creepy?
posted by TinyChicken at 1:03 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]

Yes, the girl's mother thing... The wizard is the girl's father. Her mother lost something once involving the wizard, and he probably just stole the glove in the first place as an excuse for something.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:50 PM on January 2

I think there's something about how the beard creates unsettling space on the wizard's face. When he's coming up the stairs, it looks more like his face is a strange shape with a wird maw, rather than he has a beard.
posted by es_de_bah at 2:59 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

Young Kullervo: You'll probably like this article.
posted by BiggerJ at 6:46 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]

BiggerJ: Why yes I do. Thank you for sharing!
posted by Young Kullervo at 6:00 AM on January 3

Oh, man. I was a big Pinwheel fan as a kid, but I do not remember this one. The Euro-cartoons I remember were all either fun or serene and dreamy. If I had seen this one, I think I too would have had nightmares. The wizard isn’t actually mean, but the way that he crawls out of the clock and carries her off with his red mouth open — yearrrrgh.

The same director, a woman named Dagmar Doubkova, made another short in the same style that is extremely not for kids (cw: nudity, sexual assault). I don’t speak Czech, but some of the commenters suggest that it is a humorous feminist statement about how women look for husbands. The men in it are certainly ridiculous, and you can watch it without knowing the language.

I’m really interested in this Heinz Edelmann-Peter Max style. I’m sure there’s a better name for it.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:36 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

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